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Dial a Mum was originally set up in 1979 by Dr Paul Finlayson, a psychiatrist in Hornsby, NSW, and his wife Wendy Finlayson. Dr Finlayson felt that between appointments, new mums needed someone to talk to, about a variety of issues other than just child care. He and his wife started offering this support service, originally staffed by Mothercraft nurses, as a pilot project. It was found to be so beneficial for callers that the service was continued. Dial a Mum was registered as a charity in 1980 (Charity Number: C24761), incorporated as a Co-operative in 1984 and registered as an Incorporated Association in 2002.

Dial a Mum Inc. has evolved over the years into the service it provides today – a listening ear to the wider community for those who need someone to talk to, regarding a variety of issues and concerns. The service is operated and funded by a group of highly trained and committed volunteer mums from all over Sydney.

The importance of the Dial a Mum telephone support service to the NSW community has been demonstrated over the years, receiving the prestigious Australia Day Community Service Award in 1992; acknowledgement from the NSW Government’s Ministry for Women in 1995 for contribution to social research; and more recently Volunteer Team of the Year Award – Sydney North region in 2016.